‘’If you think you can or you can’t, either way you’re right’’ – Learning how to change your life starts with you.
Today can either be the same as every worst day you’ve ever had, or today can be the start of a new tomorrow. You choose.
Deciding to completely change your life is no easy feat, especially if you’re currently feeling low, down or in a complete state of despair like I was a year ago.
Just 8 months ago, I was racked with self-doubt, had no direction, felt lost in life and was crying in a hotel room in a foreign country asking, ‘what on earth did I do to deserve this…?’
I was going through a rough time and felt like nothing was working, but then again, I felt like nothing I did in the past 5 years had worked either.
You might know the all-too familiar feeling of taking 1 step forward to take 3 steps back.
It’s completely soul destroying and not to mention a real confidence crusher.
But, day by day, little by little I started to make decisions that pulled me out of that 5 year funk.
My life didn’t magically change overnight, nor did I see results immediately, but within a few months, I found myself in a place I never thought I would; I was happy.
I felt powerful, more determined and started to attract more and more positive experiences into my life.
One of those experiences being a side hustle which transformed into an extra $2,000+ a month!
But Charlotte, why would I believe I can completely transform my life when every action or decision I’ve ever made has pushed me 3 steps back or resulted in something negative.
Here’s the thing; your outer conditions are always temporary. Completely temporary.
But, they often remain the same because we, the conscious creators, rulers of our own destiny, choose for them to stay the same.
Everything in this beautiful world, is a choice.
A change in our outer world must first be reflected within our inner world. It is our inner world that is reflected in our outer world.
In another words, our thoughts, feelings and emotions towards our environment and even ourselves is what catapults change.
Not money. Not circumstance. Not our upbringing. But our inner state.
Life will always spin a curveball, and there will be things that happen that are completely out of our control.
Things that lead to a deep yearning for radical transformation and a hunger for change.
But, armed with the right tools, any form of transformation becomes easier, and so our landing becomes softer.
After discovering, initiating and putting into practice certain habits and belief systems, those positive changes I was seeking also started seeking me.
I no longer focused on the negative or the ‘what if?’ situations and so they were nowhere to be found. What you focus on, you attract.
To help kickstart your own personal journey of transformation, I’ve put together this full length guide detailing the important steps to take to change your life for good. Let’s get started.
First things first…
TRANSFORMATION IS UNCOMFORTABLE
Like with anything in our lives, the first few changes that break the mould are difficult.
Why? Because transformation is a deliberate, conscious choice.
Every fiber of your being is screaming to stay put; if we’ve found ourselves in such a ‘stuck’ position, this feeling of dread and negativity heightens even more at this time of turbulent change.
You might find yourself clinging to old habits, or even slipping into old mindsets and beliefs within a day or two of adopting new ones.
Bring a gentle touch during this time of transformation.
It takes time and patience; a butterfly doesn’t morph into its beautiful self within a day.
Know that there is nothing wrong with this.
Life itself is a process of transformation; it has ups and downs, moments of bliss and upset, struggle and pleasure, obstacles and opportunities.
You may feel both sweet and bright, yet dark and murky at the same time because your being is not fully in the light, yet not fully shed of its dark side either (this turned into a Star Wars reference real quick…).
Unravelling of deep rooted habits isn’t an uncomfortable process, and you will have relapses.
Consistency, perseverance and repetition are key. Know this is totally okay! You’re doing great. I believe in you!
How to Change Your Life For Good In 4 Unusual Steps
Grab a warm cup of cocoa, or another other delicious beverage, and curl up on the sofa, because this is about to get good.
1) DISCOVERING THE STATE THAT IS YOUR MINDSET
The first step in any kind of transformation is acknowledging that a change needs to be made.
With that comes awareness of being, an awareness of how we are currently feeling about our life day to day. Why our feelings?
Our feelings dictate our thoughts and our thoughts create our reality.
If our feelings are out of whack and our emotions are running high, are thoughts are sure to follow that chaotic process.
The quickest way to discover what state your mindset is in is by noting your mood at any one time.
Your mood is the closest thing we can track in relation to feelings because it’s a tangible thing we experience.
It’s a great indicator as to what your predominant life emotion is.
Your predominant life emotion i.e. what you experience 50% or more of the time should be positive.
It is your life force, and is what attracts experiences into your life, be it negative or positive. It’s also what dictates your behaviour, decisions and actions.
So you can easily see why we need to bring this to our attention.
Your other emotions, i.e what I call, satellite emotions revolve around the predominant emotion and can involve the more distressing feelings we occasionally all experience such as upset, anger, worry etc.
I’m not here to say ‘be happy and radiate joy all the time’ because that never works.
My aim here is to get you to recognize what your core feeling is, the main emotion you operate from most of the time.
You can only work on changing something if you know it needs to be changed in the first place.
Recommended Action: Create a pixel chart for a week.
Draw 7 square boxes on a piece of paper, and note what your predominant mood is for each day. You can have two moods if you wish.
Color each box with a shade that represents how you feel i.e. yellow for happy, green for optimistic, black for sad/depressed, red for anger etc.
Related: How to Discover Your True Purpose In Life Even When You’re Completely Stuck
2) ADOPT EXPANSIVE AND UNLIMITED THINKING
Chances are, you’ve realized your core emotion isn’t joy, happiness or peace. And that’s okay! That’s why you’re here.
To start to get you into the right frame of mind, and attracting those positive experiences into your life, we want to practice something called ‘expansive’ or ‘unlimited thinking’.
You know what’s amazing about this type of thinking?
You do it ALL THE TIME if you have kids, younger siblings or babies around you.
You help them to weave a magical story about what they will be when they grow up; you conjure up infinite possibilities and allow them to revel in the feeling of potential.
Yet, when it comes to yourself, you feel limited, optionless and stuck.
Weird how when we grow up this childlike feeling disappears…but it doesn’t have to!
A dream without a vision cannot come to fruition.
Recommended Action: Spend just 5-10 minutes of your day, daydreaming. Yes, really!
Imagine something you really, really want. What would you desire more right now if you could have it?
It could be anything, a career, a new lifestyle, a romantic partner, absolutely anything.
Now take that vision and make it bigger.
Imagine what it would be like if that dream was even better than you first imagined it to be! Keep going with this, and see just how amazing you can make this feel for yourself.
This is expansive and unlimited thinking. You’re no longer bound to your current reality.
Once your mind is no longer looking at your temporary outer conditions and saying ‘this is it, and all you’re going to get’, you start to work with the realm of possibility not limits.
Work on your phrasing too. Work on the stories you tell yourself again, again and again.
- I can’t pay the bills – I have all the money I need to pay the bills
- I don’t know how to do this – I will learn how to do this
- I don’t know how it will change – It will always change, change is inevitable
- What if I fail? – What if I flourish?
- I’m too old/young – Age is a human made numerical limitation. Next.
- This always happens to me – This always happens to other people too. I’m not alone.
Expansive phrases are more than just positive affirmations or mantras, they’re tools to help you shift your line of thinking positively.
They’re key to reframing your experiences and taking you out a ‘black and white’ perspective.
Related: 9 Toxic Habits Ruining Your Happiness That You Need to Eliminate Immediately
3) SHAKE UP YOUR ROUTINE AND TAKE UNCOMFORTABLE ACTION
First comes thought, then organization of that thought into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality.
But, here’s where I differ in my approach; I don’t want you, nor encourage you to leap into ‘MASSIVE ACTION!’ as you’re so routinely told.
Taking massive action when you’re just getting started is the equivalent of running a marathon when you’ve spent all year on the couch.
You’re likely to fail, and very fast too (plus do yourself a proverbial injury).
Nope, I’m encouraging you to implement small, consistent streams of habits that result in transformation.
Small changes are easier to adopt and feel *less* uncomfortable.
This might mean adding 5-10 minutes of Yoga to your morning routine or swapping out your unhealthy breakfast for a body-nourishing one, or completing one ‘quick win’ task off your to-do list within 30 minutes of waking.
These might sound like flimsy activities but honestly when I was so down I had to think in 5 minute blocks of time, not hours, days or months.
These small activities when built into a ‘religious’ practice kick-started my journey of personal growth and made me feel 10x better, which lead to better actions and decisions.
Feelings = thoughts = actions = results. It’s all connected.
You might currently be in a mentally better place than I was, and already have a pretty solid routine, and that’s great!
Try to look at ways to build on and improve that routine.
Maybe you’re an overworker and need to build more downtime into your schedule.
Maybe you’re a procrastinator, and make such a big to-do list, you scare yourself from starting. Refine your daily habits to start seeing a change.
For a more detailed morning and evening routine, check out my other post about finding happiness again.
With these small changes I killed all 6 types of negativity;
- Perfectionism: Trying to achieve something that is literally unattainable.
- Self-Doubt: self doubt is like a weed that will grow out of control if not killed at the root.
- Assuming the worst will happen: hope is one reason we believe things will get better, and that faith is what makes sure things do get better.
- Worrying: Worrying changes nothing. It’s like being in a rocking chair; you go back and forth, but never get anywhere fast.
- Complaining: Complaining replaces gratitude. Gratitude is literally one of the most powerful emotions we can have on our side to manifest more and more positive experiences into our life.
- Trying to control everything: Micro-managing the universe and life is never going to happen. I found there’s actually magic in the unexpected!
4) ESTABLISH A MONTH-BY-MONTH GOAL PLAN
Setting up a month by month goal plan is more of an intermediate step.
Make sure you’ve got an unwavering foundation by doing the emotional, feel good work first before leaping into setting goals for yourself.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have relapses or feel down on days, because to this day, I still feel flat some days.
But, the difference is, that feeling only typically lasts a day, not the whole month now!
When you feel ready, start by matching some mini goals to your unlimited expansive vision of yourself.
You might feel like there’s such a disparity between who you are right now and who you want to be that it makes you feel despondent and want to quit, but this is where it starts to get good.
Remember, everything in your outer environment is temporary, one change after another change after another will lead to a new way of thinking which leads to different choices, which leads to different results.
Know that you are just steps away from bringing that vision to life.
All you need to do is take one step at a time.
I recommend creating a month by month plan, completing each month as it comes, rather than tackling a whole year head on.
Look at what actions you can take today to get you closer to where you wish to be.
Many of us get lost in the largeness of our vision and so feel constant pressure to do more, be more, have more.
You do not need to feel pressured. There is always something you can do, no matter how small, that will take you in the right direction you need to go.
The largest plans often come together by living them one day a time, constantly focusing on the next step, not the vast, wide openness that is our future.
A SPECIAL MESSAGE FOR YOU
Trust that whatever you are experiencing right now is perfect for your growth.
Stressing about change is likely to bring more unwanted change into our life, so take time to ground yourself in the present and fully enjoy the process of growing.
You cannot change the past nor control the future so the only place your mind can be fully operational is in the present.
It is in the present that we change our habits, thoughts and feelings, and so it is today that we can build a brighter future.
Learning to appreciate every single moment, no matter how tough, can bring more bliss and pleasure.
Keep going and remember why you started; it is not always going to be easy, but it is 100% worthwhile!
I hope this guide has helped you to take control of your life and future out the next important steps to change your life for good!
Here’s to a happier, prosperous and brighter future!
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